I was looking back at old Instagram photos which do not span that much time (but since my camera broke I have really been relegated to only taking pictures on my phone) and I was sort of shocked by how much the kids have changed as I scrolled through those pictures. The baby face on M Bug has slowly turned leaner and more hard edged, more boy like. It is funny because I never noticed how baby faced he still was until it was gone. That would have been in grade two but now in grade three he looks more like a boy, growing into his features. While Missy still retains that baby faced look I can see her thinning out more. She's had her hair cut shorter so that tangle of curls and red no longer frames her face and she looks less baby like and more like a little girl. It is the looks and those happy moments and I am glad I have captured those moments because sometimes in the craziness of our lives we forget or we lose perspective on things.
I feel lucky to have had my kiddos a little "older". I do not think I would have taken the time to drink in each moment. Even though the past few years have been a whirl wind, I have worked hard to stay focused on the present moment. I would have been hard pressed to be conscious of that in my 20s and even the early part of my 30s. Some days though... are rough. I love those kiddos and I often just keep my fingers crossed that they will mostly remember the love we have for them versus the rough days. I do feel some days that I am bad. I have to fight that feeling. It is a negative sticking point for me. It is the spiral downward into depression and self loathing, my defaults when I feel like I am being perfect, doing it all perfectly right, being the best and only the best (you see how that is harmful, yes?)
I find myself mostly working through things with them the best I/we can and letting it go. That is hard lesson for me. Perhaps others are better at it. I am not a good letting go kind of person. I have been known to mull over entire conversations from days, weeks, even years past or I will remember that time and that moment and turn bright red, the heat of the memory searing my cheeks and memory like standing to long next to a hot flame and getting burned. Those memories and conversations work around in my head as if they juat happened even though time has passed and I cannot go back and change what happened I can only go forward. Negative memories or conversations are like that for me, I just assume others feel that way as well. I found myself considering how I live. I am hard on myself. I often think well if I am living right and well and being a positive force in the universe then I should not really have those moments.
Of course, this humble job of parenting offers up the opposite of that. It makes me red faced and sad and so many other negative emotions that I have to just let it go. As much as I know my family was wreck growing up and it was tumbling down around me and there are some awful memories that I have, most of those not so great memories are intermingled in there with many more lovely moments. We tend to forget the ugly ones and allow the positive happy moments to push those ugly thoughts aside. Or that is what I am finding as I get a little bit older. I realized years ago that I cannot take back the words that might come out in anger but I can work to stop them from happening again and if they do happen again I have got to forgive myself or I am in a heap O trouble. And so daily I remind myself, yesterday is gone, today is here, tomorrow is far away. Enjoy this. Breathe deep. Be kind to myself first and it will flow to others. Let go, let go, let go...
I am grateful today that Missy still loves to give a thousands kisses and both kids request hugs before bed. Both of them love to snuggle on the couch under the soft caramel colored blanket to watch movies and shows with me. They have favorite blankets that they still drag around without a thought and stuffies they love more then life itself who go from place to place around the house constant friends whole love them unconditionally in their minds. They can be sweet to one another and M Bug will step up and help his sister without being asked to sometimes. And just the other day she grabbed him as he walked by and gave him a hug and he hugged back and he even endured a kiss on his check from her. They are really very supportive to one another about school and sports and activities by degrees. M Bug will try to help her with her school work and sometimes much to his chagrin she will try to help with his school work too. They make up these crazy epic games in the basement with a beach ball and the blankets - they are so epic I am not even sure how they know what is going on but they love it, laughing and yelling and cheering for goals and who wins what. They are still charmed by the magic of the holidays and we are still hanging on to M Bug's belief in Santa by a thread but even if it goes I think they will still create the magic that the holidays bring. They love the outdoors and are active and I know that we model that behavior and that we live in them in ways well beyond just genetics.
Mostly my point is there are sweet amazing moments in there and I tend to lean toward looking at the glass as half empty when the reality is that is an overused saying and life is so full and amazing and we are lucky to be alive and spending time together in this universe. I am grateful for that above all else.